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Baptist Church History (Part 3) - Errors in True Churches; Catholics and Protestants not God's Church; Baptists not Protestants

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For a master copy of the outline, click here: Baptist Church History

V. Error in a church doesn't necessarily preclude a church from being a true church.
1. Consider some of the serious errors that were found in churches in the NT:
A. Lack of discipline in the church at Corinth (1Co 5:1-2).
B. Works-based salvation in the Galatian churches (Gal 1:6, 3:1-3; 5:1-4), and in the church at Jerusalem (Act 15:1).
C. Five of the churches in Revelation had serious errors in them.
i. The church of Ephesus had left Christ its first love (Eph 2:4).
ii. The church in Pergamos had members that held to the doctrine of Balaam who were eating things sacrificed to idols and were committing fornication (Rev 2:14), and those that held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which Jesus hates (Rev 2:15).
iii. The church of Thyatira had a woman preacher who was teaching them to commit fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols (Rev 2:20).
iv. The church of Sardis was almost completely dead (Rev 3:1-2).
v. The church of Laodicea was lukewarm and trusting in their riches, but in Jesus' eyes they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Rev 3:15-17).
D. The church at Corinth and the church of the Hebrews was spiritually immature (1Co 3:1-3; Heb 5:11-14).
E. Some of the Corinthians believed that there was no resurrection of the dead (1Co 15:12), and some others believed in baptism for the dead (1Co 15:29).
2. If churches with errors cannot be considered churches, then many of the churches in the NT, the churches throughout history, and churches of today are not true churches.
VI. The Roman Catholic church is not God's church.
1. The churches of the Roman Empire that eventually formed themselves into the Roman Catholic church in the beginning of the fourth century under the rule of the Roman Emperor, Constantine had begun baptizing infants in the second or third century.
2. Once the membership of these churches became comprised of people who had not been baptized (infant "baptism" is not baptism), then that "church" ceased to be a church because a church by definition is a congregation of people who have been baptized into it.
3. After a generation of "baptizing" infants, the pastors of these "churches" would not have been baptized themselves and therefore would not have had valid ordinations.
4. This reason alone is sufficient to prove that that the Catholic church (both Roman and Orthodox) are not God's churches.
5. The Roman Catholic church doesn't meet any of the marks of a NT church listed in Section IV, with the exception of paying lip service to the Trinity.
A. They don't believe in the true Trinity, in that they believe that Jesus is eternally begotten and that the Holy Spirit is eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.
B. See the two-part sermon series called: The Sonship of Jesus Christ - Refuting the Heresy of Eternal Generation.
VII. Protestant churches are not God's church.
1. The protestant reformers were all Catholics who reformed the Catholic church.
A. Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, founded the Lutheran church in the 1520s.
B. King Henry VIII, a Catholic king of England, founded the Church of England (Anglican) in the 1530s.
i. The Episcopal church is the American branch of the Church of England.
ii. John Wesley, an Anglican, founded the Methodist church in the 1780s.
C. John Calvin and John Knox, who were Catholics, founded the Presbyterian church in the mid 1500s.
i. "Calvin is the accredited founder of the Presbyterian church." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 44-45)
ii. "In 1560, nineteen years after Calvin's first organization in Geneva, Switzerland, John Knox, a disciple of Calvin, established the first Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and just thirty-two years later, 1592, the Presbyterian became the State Church of Scotland." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 45)
D. The Congregationalist church, another reformed Catholic church, was formed in the early 1600s.
E. As the old saying goes, "All roads lead to Rome."
2. The Catholic church is the "mother of harlots", which means she has many harlot daughters (Rev 17:5).
A. A clean thing can't come out of an unclean thing (Job 14:4).
B. A leopard can't change his spots, neither can they who are accustomed to doing evil do good (Jer 13:23).
C. You can't polish a turd.
D. The protestants demonstrated that they were daughters of the great whore (Rev 17:1) who was drunk with the blood of the saints (Rev 17:6) when they likewise persecuted the Anabaptists and Baptists both in Europe and in America.
i. These daughters of the whore persecuted the Anabaptists in Europe.
a. Martin Luther was friendly with the Baptists early in the reformation, but soon became their bitter enemy after the Lutheran Church gained power.
b. "The success and number of the Baptists "exasperated him (Luther) to the last degree;" and he became their enemy, notwithstanding all he had said in favour of dipping (while he contended with Catholics on the sufficiency of God's word); but now he persecuted them under the name of re-dippers, re-baptizers, or Anabaptists. One thing troubled Luther, and he took no pains to conceal it; that was, a jealousy lest any competitor should step forward, and put in execution that plan of reformation which he had laid out: this was his foible; he fell out with Carolostadt, he disliked Calvin, he found fault with Zuinglius, who were all supported by great patrons, and he was angry beyond measure with the Baptists." (G.H. Orchard, A Concise History of Foreign Baptists, page 345)
c. Mosheim, a Lutheran and church historian, affirmed that the Anabaptists were the common enemy of both Catholics and Protestants.
(i) "But Mosheim remarks, "there were certain sects and doctors against whom the zeal, vigilance, and severity of Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists were united. The objects of their common aversion were the Anabaptists."" (G.H. Orchard, A Concise History of Foreign Baptists, page 346)
(ii) "The tyranny of the Catholics and Lutherans was equal in every thing, except extent." (G.H. Orchard, A Concise History of Foreign Baptists, page 349)
d. "During all these hard struggles for Reformation, continuous and valuable aid was given to the reformers, by many Ana-Baptists, or whatever other name they bore. Hoping for some relief from their own bitter lot, they came out of their hiding places and fought bravely with the reformers, but they were doomed to fearful disappointment. They were from now on to have two additional persecuting enemies. Both the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches brought out of their Catholic Mother many of her evils, among them her idea of a State Church. They both soon became Established Churches. Both were soon in the persecuting business, falling little, if any, short of their Catholic Mother. Sad and awful was the fate of these long-suffering Ana-Baptists. The world now offered no sure place for hiding. Four hard persecutors were now hot on their trail. Surely theirs was a "Trail of Blood." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 45-46)
e. "Thus, before the close of the Sixteenth Century, there were five established Churches, churches backed up by civil governments, the Roman and Greek Catholics counted as two; then the Church of England; then the Lutheran, or Church of Germany; then the Church of Scotland, now known as the Presbyterian. All of them were bitter in their hatred and persecution of the people called Ana-Baptists, Waldenses and all other non-established churches, churches which never in any way had been connected with the Catholics. Their great help in the struggle for reformation had been forgotten, or was now wholly ignored. Many more thousands, including both women and children were constantly perishing every day in the yet unending persecutions. The great hope awakened and inspired by the reformation had proven to be a bloody delusion. Remnants now find an uncertain refuge in the friendly Alps and other hiding places over the world." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 47)
ii. These daughters of the whore persecuted the Anabaptists in America.
a. "These refugeeing Congregationalists and Presbyterians established different Colonies and immediately within their respective territories established by law their own peculiar religious views. In other words, "Congregationalism" and "Presbyterianism" were made the legal religious views of their colonies. This to the absolute exclusion of all other religious views. Themselves fleeing the mother country, with the bloody marks of persecution still upon them and seeking a home of freedom and liberty for themselves, immediately upon being established in their own colonies, in the new land and having the authority, they deny religious liberty to others, and practice upon them the same cruel methods of persecution. Especially did they so treat the Baptists." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 60)
b. "For the terrible offenses of "preaching the Gospel" and "refusing to have their children baptized," "opposing infant baptism," and other like conscientious acts on their part, they were arrested, imprisoned, fined, whipped, banished, and their property confiscated, etc. All that here in America." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 61)
c. "Before the Massachusetts Bay Colony is twenty years old, with the Congregational as the State Church, they passed laws against the Baptists and others. The following is a sample of the laws: "It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons, within this jurisdiction, shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at the ministration of the ordinance . . . after due time and means of conviction every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment." This law was enacted especially against the Baptists." (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 61)
d. "It is recorded that on one occasion one of John Clarke's members was sick. The family lived just across the Massachusetts Bay Colony line and just inside that colony. John Clarke, himself, and a visiting preacher by the name of Crandall and a layman by the name of Obediah Holmes, all three went to visit that sick family. While they were holding some kind of a prayer service with that sick family, some officer or officers of the colony came upon them and arrested them and later carried them before the court for trial. It is also stated, that in order to get a more definite charge against them, they were carried into a religious meeting of their church (Congregationalist), their hands being tied (so the record states). The charge against them was "for not taking off their hats in a religious service." They were all tried and convicted. Gov. Endicott was present. In a rage he said to Clarke, while the trial was going on, "You have denied infants baptism" (this was not the charge against them). "You deserve death. I will not have such trash brought into my jurisdiction." The penalty for all was a fine, or be well-whipped. Crandall's fine (a visitor) was five pounds ($25.00), Clarke's fine (the pastor) was twenty pounds ($100.00). Holmes' fine (the records say he had been a Congregationalist and had joined the Baptists) so his fine was thirty pounds ($150.00). Clark's and Crandall's fines were paid by friends. Holmes refused to allow his fine paid, saying he had done no wrong, so was well whipped. The record states that he was "stripped to the waist" and then whipped (with some kind of a special whip) until the blood ran down his body and then his legs until his shoes overflowed. The record goes on to state that his body was so badly gashed and cut that for two weeks he could not lie down, so his body could touch the bed. His sleeping had to be done on his hands or elbows and knees. Of this whipping and other things connected with it I read all records, even Holmes' statement. A thing could hardly have been more brutal. And here in America!" (J.M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 64-65)
3. Therefore, since all the protestant churches are just reformed Catholic churches, none of them are the church of Jesus Christ.
VIII. Baptists are not Protestants.
1. Baptist churches predate the Protestant Reformation by nearly 1500 years.
2. The following is an excerpt from The Trail of Blood by J.M. Carroll which shows that Baptist churches predate both the Protestant Reformation, and the Roman Catholic Church itself which was not established until the fourth century.
A. "Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent: "Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)

"The "twelve hundred years" were the years preceding the Reformation in which Rome persecuted Baptists with the most cruel persecution thinkable.

"Sir Isaac Newton: "The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."

"Mosheim (Lutheran): "Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."

"Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian): "It must have already occurred to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described as Ana-Baptists. Indeed this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the present time."

"Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the Apostle John." (J.M Carroll, The Trail of Blood, page 4)

3. "“Religions of the World,” by fifteen eminent scholars, whose names are given, all, or near all, being Pedobaptists and Romanists, published by Gay Bros. Co., 14 Barclay street, New York, 1884, says: “Baptists claim a higher antiquity than the eventful era of the Reformation. They offer proof in that their views of the church and the ordinances may be traced through the Paterines, the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Vaudoise, the Cathari, and the Poor Men of Lyons, the Paulicians, the Donatists, the Novatians, to the Messahians, the Montanists and the Euchites of the second and closing part of the first century to the Apostles and the churches they founded. … Their claim to this high antiquity it would seem is well founded, for historians, not Baptists, and who could have no motive except fidelity to facts, concede it.”" (W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity, page 311)
4. "The Athenian Society, of England, over two hundred years ago, and made up wholly of Pedobaptists, a Society pronounced equal to the famous Royal Society... In 1691 this society was thrown into controversity with the Baptists, respecting the antiquity of their church, and they affirmed that: “there never was a separate and distinct congregation of Baptists until about three hundred years after our Savior.”" (W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity, page 311-312)

IX. The unreasonableness of denying Baptist church perpetuity.
1. "Who can prove the present animal and vegetable world, by every link, to have descended from the creation? Who can prove the facts, link by link, in the doctrine of the correlation of forces and the conservation of energy? Who can prove his descent from Adam? More: Who can prove his genealogy ten generations back — even five? Yet who would deny these things until historically proven, year by year? Yet, strange to say, the demand upon Baptists is not simply to show that there were Baptist churches in the first century, and that we have glimpses of them as they occasionally appear in the past centuries, but that unless we can clearly see them in continuous line for the past eighteen centuries, they did not exist unceasingly during that time!

"What reasonable man questions the Biblical canon because of the scarcity of the records for its history? Who denies the discovery of America because the time and the name of its discoverer are unsettled?

"Greenleaf says: “In all human transactions, the highest degree of assurance to which we can arrive, short of the evidences of our own senses, is that of probability.”

"I, therefore, close this chapter with the remark. Strict conformity to this rule, laid down by Greenleaf, which governs our courts of law, is all that the Christian apologist asks of the infidel and all that this book asks of the opponents of Baptist Church Perpetuity — not whether there is any room for doubting Baptist Church Perpetuity, but whether there is a historical “probability” of its being true." (W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity, page 55)

2. "Talk about Perpetuity of Baptist “principles and practices” or of Baptists without Perpetuity of Baptist churches — without Baptists to observe and propagate them! As well talk about Christian principles and practices perpetuated by Jews, Masonic principles and practices by non-Masons, or life without corresponding form or appearance, as to talk about the Perpetuity of “Baptist principles and practices” without Baptist churches to observe these “practices and principles.” Or, as well speak of Masons, Oddfellows, Republicans, Democrats or Romanists continuing without organization, as to speak of Baptists continuing during the dark ages without churches. Or, as the principles and the practices of physicians inevitably imply physicians; of lawyers, lawyers; of engineers, engineers; of Buddhists, Buddhists; of Mohammedans, Mohammedans; of Mormons, Mormons; of Lutherans, Lutherans; of Episcopalians, Episcopalians; of Methodists, Methodists; of Campbellites, Campbellites; of Presbyterians, Presbyterians; so, “the principles and the practices of Baptists from the time of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the year 1886,” inevitably demand the existence of Baptist churches during the same period." (W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity, page 67)

3. "Whom do we now find believing and practicing the Baptist principles but Baptists? —Baptist churches? “Baptist principles and practices” being preaching, baptizing, observing the Lord’s Supper and administering church discipline, they cannot be observed save in Baptist church organization." (W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity, page 68)

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Baptist Church History